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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to upgrade my light on my 29 gallon tank with retro kit from ahsupply.com

I was just wondering if any of you have experience with compact bulbs and which K rating should I get for my application.

I have very bright colorful fish like glo fish and gold barb and the light i have now is a 20w 6500k. I really like the color that it gives to my tank but I can't grow anything with it. If i get another 6500k will it look the same or are they different?

Also, of the 3 bulbs below, which would you choose and why?

55 Watt 5500K Compact Bulb
Warm daylight appearance like morning light. This bulb has an exceptionally high Color Rendering Index of 91.

55 Watt 6700K Compact Bulb
Very bright, full spectrum, clear white light. Like daylight in the middle of the afternoon under a clear blue sky.



55 Watt 7800K Compact Bulb
This bulb is just slightly bluer and cooler than the 6700K but maintains a balanced full spectrum for good growth.
 

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I would get either the 55w GE 9325K bulb or the 65w Coralife 6700K/Colormax bulb. Both bulbs bring out the colors but the 9325K is more so. Many colors pop out. The Coraliife bulb is more balanced color wise and the GE bulb has a pinkish cast. The GE 9325K bulb grows plants really well. I haven't had algae problems while using it. I have one over a 15g. Also, the GE bulb is less than half the price of the Coralife bulb.

55w GE 9325K straight pin: http://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/page/001/PROD/Aquarium/F55BX-AR-FS
Check out this comparison.

65w Coralife 6700K/Colormax straight pin: http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsC...coralifecolormax6700k65wpowercompactlampstpin
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Everywhere that I look people say to get 6500k bulbs. You had mentioned a 65w bulb, will that work with a 55w setup?

I have a friend with a 10000k above his tank and it turned it into a algae green soup. Does the color temp affect algae growth at all?

Also, did you say you have a 55w over a 15 gallon tank. How do you keep the algae away?

I found the bulb that you were talking about at this site. I just searched for the model number on google. It's $17 instead of $14 but they seem to have it in stock.

http://www.atlantalightbulbs.com/ecart/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=F55BX.AR.FSGE
 

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Everywhere that I look people say to get 6500k bulbs. You had mentioned a 65w bulb, will that work with a 55w setup?
Yes, the Workhorse 3 that comes with the kit is rated for 64w and it will run a 65w bulb. Basically 55w and 65w PC's are the same thing. From what I read a few years ago, it is a marketing ploy.

6500K/6700K bulbs and 10,000K PC bulbs are the ones commonly used for planted aquariums. Some of the 6700K bulbs (like Coralife's) has a huge green spike and makes everything too green, IMO. I haven't seen AHSupply's bulbs in a long time. I can't comment on them for this reason.

I have a friend with a 10000k above his tank and it turned it into a algae green soup. Does the color temp affect algae growth at all?
There are many things and combinations of things that can lead to algae. A 10,000K bulb from one manufacture usually has a different color spectrum than a bulb from other manufacturer. The various phosphors and amounts of each contribute to the actual K value.

You need balance with light, nutrients, fish load and CO2 in a planted aquarium. You'll see Tom Barr (plantbrain), Hoppy and others saying that CO2 is very important and they recommend against very bright lighting unless it is elevated a certain height for planted aquariums. They are very right.

Also, did you say you have a 55w over a 15 gallon tank. How do you keep the algae away?
It is that 9325K bulb as near as I can tell. The aquarium does have pressurized CO2, but I don't dose ferts regularly in it and neither do I do regular water changes. I do see potassium deficiency from time to time and I add K2SO4. I dose Flourish too. Both of these are dosed about once a month. Basically, I'm abusing this aquarium trying to figure out why there is no algae. Before the 9325K bulb, it had a 6700K bulb. There were some algae issues when I used that bulb. Right after I added the 9325K bulb, the algae issues started going away. Is it a coincidence or not? I don't know, but whatever it is, it works in this aquarium.

I found the bulb that you were talking about at this site. I just searched for the model number on google. It's $17 instead of $14 but they seem to have it in stock.

http://www.atlantalightbulbs.com/ecart/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=F55BX.AR.FSGE
AtlantaLightBulbs.com is another place that carries it as you found. I gave you LightBulbsDirect.com because they are a bit cheaper. I didn't know they were out of stock.

If you think that you might like this bulb, you may want to order more than one. Aqueon (All-Glass) used to use this bulb in all their PC fixtures. They don't do it now because of cost reasons. The 9325K bulbs are made in England where labor is a bit higher than in some other countries. They use an 8000K PC now that has a similar color spectrum. I don't know where it is made, but it's not England. I wonder if the 9325K bulbs are going out of production or they already are. I haven't read anything saying so though.

DrsFosterSmith.com is another place that carries it, but their price is quite high ($29.99 + shipping).
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=15381
 
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